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Title: NASA

NASAs Beyond Einstein Program An Architecture
for Implementation
Committee Charge
  • Assess the five proposed Beyond Einstein missions
    (Constellation-X, Laser Interferometer Space
    Antenna, Joint Dark Energy Mission, Inflation
    Probe, and Black Hole Finder probe) and recommend
    which of these five should be developed and
    launched first, using a funding wedge that is
    expected to begin in FY 2009. The criteria for
    these assessments include
  • Potential scientific impact within the  context
    of other existing and planned space-based and
    ground-based missions and
  • Realism of preliminary technology and management
    plans, and cost estimates.  
  • Assess the Beyond Einstein missions sufficiently
    so that they can act as input for any future
    decisions by NASA or the next Astronomy and
    Astrophysics Decadal Survey on the ordering of
    the remaining missions. This second task element
    will assist NASA in its investment strategy for
    future technology development within the Beyond
    Einstein Program prior to the results of the
    Decadal Survey.

Committee Members
  • Andrew Lankford, UC Irvine
  • Dennis McCarthy, Swales (retired)
  • Stephan Meyer, U. Chicago
  • Joel Primack, UC Santa Cruz
  • Lisa Randall, Harvard
  • Joseph Rothenberg, Universal Space Network,
  • Craig Sarazin, U Virginia
  • James Ulvestad, NRAO
  • Clifford Will, Washington University
  • Michael Witherell, UC Santa Barbara
  • Edward Wright, UCLA
  • Eric Adelberger, U Washington
  • William Adkins, Adkins Strategies, LLC
  • Thomas Appelquist, Yale
  • James Barrowman, NASA (retired)
  • David Bearden, Aerospace Corp.
  • Mark Devlin, U Pennsylvania
  • Joseph Fuller, Futron Corp.
  • Karl Gebhardt, U Texas
  • William Gibson, SWRI
  • Fiona Harrison, Caltech
  • Charles Kennel, UCSD, co-chair

Beyond Einstein Science
  • Scientific challenges at the intersection of
    physics and astrophysics.
  • Potential to extend our basic physical laws
    beyond where 20th century research left them.
  • Stringent new tests of Einstein's general theory
    of relativity
  • Indicate how to extend the standard model of
    elementary particle physics
  • Give astrophysics an entirely new way of
    observing the universe, through gravity waves
  • New physical understanding may be required to
    explain cosmological observations
  • The challenge of investigating the laws of
    physics using astronomical techniques promises to
    bring higher precision, clarity, and completeness
    to many astrophysical investigations relating to
    galaxies, black holes, and the large-scale
    structure of the universe, among other areas.

Beyond Einstein Missions
  • Five Mission Areas
  • Einstein Great Observatories
  • Constellation-X (Con-X)
  • Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA)
  • Einstein Probes
  • Black Hole Finder Probe (BHFP)
  • Inflation Probe (IP)
  • Joint Dark Energy Probe (JDEM)
  • Eleven Individual Mission Candidates
  • BHFP Coded Aperture Survey Telescope for
    Energetic Radiation (CASTER), Energetic X-ray
    Imaging Telescope (EXIST)
  • Con-X
  • IP CMB Polarization Mission (CMBPol), Cosmic
    Inflation Probe (CIP), Experimental Probe of
    Inflationary Cosmology (EPIC-F), Einstein
    Polarization Interferometer for Cosmology
  • JDEM Advanced Dark Energy Physics Telescope
    (ADEPT), Dark Energy Space Telescope (DESTINY),
    Supernova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP)
  • LISA

Black Hole Finder Probe Science Goals
  • Beyond Einstein science
  • perform a census of black holes throughout the
  • determine how black holes evolve
  • observe stars and gas plunging into black holes
  • determine how black holes are formed
  • Broader science
  • discover the origin of the 511 keV
    electron-positron annihilation line toward the
    center of the Milky Way
  • determine the rate of supernova explosions in the
    Milky Way
  • discover new types of hard x-ray sources revealed
    by a high-sensitivity survey

Constellation-X Science Goals
  • Beyond Einstein science
  • investigate motion near black holes
  • measure the evolution of dark energy using
    clusters of galaxies
  • determine where most of the atoms are located in
    the Warm Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM) and
    detect baryons
  • determine the relationship of supermassive black
    hole (SMBH) growth to formation of galactic
  • determine whether dark matter emits energy via
    decay or annihilation
  • Broader Science
  • determine the equation of state of neutron stars
  • determine the size of the magnetic fields in
    young neutron stars
  • examine how supermassive black holes affect
  • discover where heavy elements originate
  • investigate the activity of Sun-like stars and
    how they affect their environments
  • investigate how comets and planets interact with
    the Solar wind

Inflation Probe Science Goals
  • Beyond Einstein science
  • detect gravitational waves sourced by inflation
  • constrain the physics of inflation
  • detect baryonic oscillations in the matter power
  • Broader science
  • determine the nature of galactic dust, galactic
    magnetic fields, and electron spectrum
  • determine when the universe was reionized
  • investigate the history of star formation for
  • determine the masses of the three kinds of

Joint Dark Energy Mission Science Goals
  • Beyond Einstein science
  • precisely measure the expansion history of the
    universe to determine whether the contribution of
    dark energy to the expansion rate varies with
  • Broader science
  • investigate the formation and evolution of
  • determine the rate of star formation and how that
    rate depends on environment

LISA Science Goals
  • Beyond Einstein science
  • determine how and when massive black holes form
  • investigate whether general relativity correctly
    describes gravity under extreme conditions
  • determine how black hole growth is related to
    galaxy evolution
  • determine if black holes are correctly described
    by general relativity
  • investigate whether there are gravitational waves
    from the early universe
  • determine the distance scale of the universe
  • Broader science
  • determine the distribution of binary systems of
    white dwarfs and neutron stars in our Galaxy

Data Gathering Process
  • First Committee Meeting (Nov 6-8, 2006)
  • Science presentations on selected questions from
    Connecting Quarks With the Cosmos.
  • Initial presentations from the 11 Mission
  • Formulation of the committees Request for
  • RFI Sent to Teams (Dec 19, 2006)
  • Second Committee Meeting (Jan 30-Feb 1, 2007)
  • Science presentations on areas of BE science not
    covered at the first meeting
  • Detailed presentations from the mission
    candidates, based on their responses to the
    committees RFI
  • Town Hall Meetings for Community Input (Feb-Apr,
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Chicago, IL
  • NRC also established
    e-mail box for community input, and posted the
    input received on the committees website.
  • Third Committee Meeting (Apr 5-7, 2007)
  • Presentation on ESA plans for BE Science
  • Presentation on the ability of ground-based
    telescopes to investigate dark energy
  • Fourth Committee Meeting (Jun 6-8, 2007)
  • Writing meeting for the committee

Report Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Science Impact
  3. Technical Risk and Cost Assessment
  4. Policy and Other Programmatic Issues
  5. Recommendations and Conclusions

Evaluation of Science Impact
  • Five criteria for evaluation
  • Advancement of Beyond Einstein research goals.
  • Broader science contributions.  
  • Potential for revolutionary discovery.
  • Science risk and readiness.
  • Uniqueness of the mission candidate for
    addressing its scientific questions.

Beyond Einstein Objectives
  • Find out what powered the Big Bang
  • Observe how black holes manipulate space, time
    and matter
  • Identify the mysterious dark energy pulling the
    Universe apart
  • Objectives drawn from NASAs 2003 SEU Roadmap
    Beyond Einstein From the Big Bang to Black

Evaluation of Technical Readiness
  • Technical Evaluation consisted of two parts
  • Technical readiness, including the following
    elements the instrument, spacecraft, operations,
    and technical margins.
  • Management readiness, including team
    organization, schedule and other special
  • The committee, supported by SAIC, evaluated the
    technical readiness levels of the relevant
    scientific and engineering components for the 11
    mission concepts.
  • The mission candidates provided information on
    their missions in response to the committees
    Request For Information (RFI) and to further
    questions from the committee.
  • The mission teams worked to meet difficult
    deadlines imposed by the committees tight
    schedule, and the committee appreciates their

Cost Estimates and Analysis
  • The committee, supported by SAIC, developed
    independent cost estimates for each mission
    candidate, using three different models derived
    from historical databases.
  • Models used
  • QuickCost
  • CoBRA

Policy Issues
  • As directed in the statement of task, the
    committee made its recommendations based on
    assessments of scientific impact and technical
    and management realism of proposed missions.
  • Policy issues are additional considerations, or
    external factors that provide underlying context
    and possibly influence future implementation of
    committee recommendations. These issues include
  • Implications for U.S. science and technology
  • Program funding constraints
  • Role of inter-agency and international
  • Investments in underlying research and technology
    and supporting infrastructure
  • Impact of International Traffic in Arms
    Regulations (ITAR)

Finding 1
  • The Beyond Einstein scientific issues are so
    compelling that research in this area will be
    pursued for many years to come. All five mission
    areas in NASAs Beyond Einstein plan address key
    questions that take physics and astronomy beyond
    where the century of Einstein left them.

Findings 2 and 3
  • The Constellation-X mission will make the
    broadest and most diverse contributions to
    astronomy of any of the candidate Beyond Einstein
    missions. While it can make strong contributions
    to Beyond Einstein science, other BE missions
    address the measurement of dark energy parameters
    and tests of strong-field General Relativity in a
    more focused and definitive manner.
  • Two mission areas stand out for the directness
    with which they address Beyond Einstein goals and
    their potential for broader scientific impact
    LISA and JDEM.

Finding 4
  • LISA is an extraordinarily original and
    technically bold mission concept. LISA will open
    up an entirely new way of observing the universe,
    with immense potential to enlarge our
    understanding of physics and astronomy in
    unforeseen ways. LISA, in the committees view,
    should be the flagship mission of a long-term
    program addressing Beyond Einstein goals.

Finding 5
  • The ESA-NASA LISA Pathfinder mission that is
    scheduled for launch in late 2009 will assess the
    operation of several critical LISA technologies
    in space. The committee believes it is more
    responsible technically and financially to
    propose a LISA new start after the Pathfinder
    results are taken into account. In addition,
    Pathfinder will not test all technologies
    critical to LISA. Thus, it would be prudent for
    NASA to invest further in LISA technology
    development and risk reduction, to help ensure
    that NASA is in a position to proceed with ESA to
    a formal new start as soon as possible after the
    LISA Pathfinder results are understood.

Finding 6
  • A JDEM mission will set the standard in the
    precision of its determination of the
    distribution of dark energy in the distant
    universe. By clarifying the properties of 70
    percent of the mass-energy in the universe,
    JDEMs potential for fundamental advancement of
    both astronomy and physics is substantial. A JDEM
    mission will also bring important benefits to
    general astronomy. In particular, JDEM will
    provide highly detailed information for
    understanding how galaxies form and acquire their

Finding 7
  • The JDEM mission candidates identified thus far
    are based on instrument and spacecraft
    technologies that have either been flown in space
    or have been extensively developed in other
    programs. A JDEM mission selected in 2009 could
    proceed smoothly to a timely and successful

Finding 8
  • The present NASA Beyond Einstein funding wedge
    alone is inadequate to develop any candidate
    Beyond Einstein mission on its nominal schedule.
  • However, both JDEM and LISA could be carried out
    with the currently forecasted NASA contribution
    if DOE's contribution that benefits JDEM is taken
    into account and if LISA's development schedule
    is extended and funding from ESA is assumed.

Recommendation 1
  • NASA and DOE should proceed immediately with a
    competition to select a Joint Dark Energy Mission
    for a 2009 new start. The broad mission goals in
    the Request for Proposal should be (1) to
    determine the properties of dark energy with high
    precision and (2) to enable a broad range of
    astronomical investigations. The committee
    encourages the Agencies to seek as wide a variety
    of mission concepts and partnerships as possible.

Recommendation 2
  • NASA should invest additional Beyond Einstein
    funds in LISA technology development and risk
    reduction, to help ensure that the Agency is in a
    position to proceed in partnership with ESA to a
    new start after the LISA Pathfinder results are

Recommendation 3
  • NASA should move forward with appropriate
    measures to increase the readiness of the three
    remaining mission areasBlack Hole Finder Probe,
    Constellation-X, and Inflation Probefor
    consideration by NASA and the NRC Decadal Survey
    of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Selection Summary
  • JDEM is the mission providing the measurements
    most likely to determine the nature of dark
    energy, and LISA provides the most direct and
    cleanest probe of spacetime near a black hole.
  • Constellation-X, in contrast, provides
    measurements promising progress on at least two
    of the three questions, but does not provide the
    most direct, cleanest measurement on any of them.
    It was the committees judgment that for a
    focused program like Beyond Einstein, it is most
    important to provide the definitive measurement
    against at least one of the questions.
  • The committee concludes that JDEM is
    technologically mature enough to succeed on the
    timescale specified in the charge. LISA requires
    additional technology development and a
    successful pathfinder mission before it is ready
    for development.
  • The committee recommends JDEM for a 2009 start.

Study Origins
  • Committee Report, Senate Energy and Water
    Appropriations Bill, 2007
  • The Committee is concerned that the joint
    mission between the Department of Energy and NASA
    is untenable because of NASAs reorganization and
    change in focus toward manned space flight. The
    Committee directs the Department to immediately
    begin planning for a single-agency space-based
    dark energy mission
  • Committee Report, House Energy and Water
    Development Appropriations Bill, 2007
  • NASA has failed to budget and program for
    launch services for JDEM. Unfortunately, in
    spite of best intentions, the multi-agency aspect
    of this initiative poses insurmountable problems
    that imperil its future. Therefore, the
    Committee directs the Department to begin
    planning for a single-agency dark energy mission
    with a launch in fiscal year 2013.
  • Committee Report, Senate Commerce, Justice, and
    Science Appropriations Bill, 2007
  • The National Academy of Sciences has recommended
    that NASA and the Department of Energy work
    together to develop a Joint Dark Energy Mission
    JDEM. The Committee strongly supports
    development of the JDEM through full and open
    competition with project management residing at
    the appropriate NASA center.
  • OSTP Meeting, August 2006
  • Dr. Marburger calls meeting with NASA
    Administrator, DOE Science Undersecretary, SSB
    Chair, BPA Chair, and AAAC Chair to encourage a
    fair, joint-agency process for going forward on a
    Beyond Einstein mission.
  • NASA and DOE request NRC to assess the Beyond
    Einstein missions and produce report by September
    8, 2007

Beyond Einstein Research Focus Areas
  • (as defined in the
  • Beyond Einstein Roadmap)

Find out what powered the Big Bang
  • Research Focus Area 1. Search for gravitational
    waves from inflation and phase transitions in the
    Big Bang.
  • Research Focus Area 2. Determine the size, shape,
    age, and energy content of the Universe.

Observe how black holes manipulate space, time,
and matter
  • Research Focus Area 3. Perform a census of black
    holes throughout the Universe.
  • Research Focus Area 4. Determine how black holes
    are formed and how they evolve.
  • Research Focus Area 5. Test Einsteins theory of
    gravity and map spacetime near the event horizons
    of black holes and throughout the Universe.
  • Research Focus area 6. Observe stars and gas
    plunging into black holes.

Identify the mysterious dark energy pulling the
Universe apart
  • Research Focus Area 2. Determine the size, shape,
    age, and energy content of the Universe.
  • Research Focus Area 7. Determine the cosmic
    evolution of the dark energy.

Committee Cost Estimates and Budget Analysis
Cost Realism Assessment Methodology
  1. Acquire and normalize data for the individual
    mission concepts.
  2. Perform independent estimates of probable costs
    and development time to undertake the individual
    mission concepts.
  3. Used SAICs QuickCost model to develop ICE
  4. Cross-checked with NAFCOM model for consistency
  5. Compare individual estimates with a
    complexity-based model (Aerospace Corps CoBRA)
    to aggregate individual mission concepts into a
    range of cost for the Beyond Einstein mission
  6. For the recommended mission sequence develop a
    budget profile compared with the expected funding
    wedge to assess affordability and mission
    ordering options.

Committee ICE vs. Project Estimates
Ranges of Cost Estimates
Beyond Einstein mission concepts compared to the
Beyond Einstein funding wedge (Costs at 70
confidence level)
BEPAC Recommended Program Phased to fit within
the Projected NASA Beyond Einstein Budget Wedge
Black Hole Finder Probe
Black Hole Finder Probe Revolutionary Discovery
  • Beyond Einstein
  • Massive black holes already are known in many
    galaxies. The BHFP may find such black holes in
    different types of galaxies, where they might not
    follow the canonical relation between black hole
    mass and galaxy bulge characteristics.
  • The possibility of detecting gamma-ray bursts at
    redshifts higher than 7 could provide insight on
    the stages of black hole formation in the early
  • Broader Science
  • Hard x-ray variability on time scales of
    milliseconds to days provides the potential for
    detecting entirely new types of x-ray emitters,
    such as extreme magnetars or highly variable
    ultraluminous x-ray sources.
  • Unexpected new classes of sources may be found to
    be major contributors to the hard x-ray

Black Hole Finder Probe Science Risk
  • Beyond Einstein
  • BHFP sensitivity is adequate to detect only the
    most luminous hard x-ray sources at high
    redshift, making it difficult to infer the
    evolution of black hole masses or x-ray emission
    over time
  • The conversion from x-ray luminosity to
    black-hole growth rate is uncertain by at least
    an order of magnitude, depending on unknown
    accretion rates and radiative efficiencies,
    making the assessment of black-hole growth
    dependent on very poorly constrained models
  • The achievable position accuracy may be
    inadequate to identify the host objects for x-ray
    sources, particularly at high redshifts.

Black Hole Finder Probe Science Risk cont.
  • Broader Science
  • The likelihood of finding unknown types of
    variable sources with a significant astrophysical
    impact is unknown.
  • Although individual supernova remnants will be
    identified through their hard x-ray spectral
    lines, these identifications may not translate
    into a strong constraint on the overall supernova
    rate in the Galaxy.

Black Hole Finder Probe Uniqueness in Addressing
BE Science
  • Vs. Space
  • Will perform an all-sky hard x-ray survey a
    factor of 10-100 more sensitive than any previous
    satellite, detecting approximately 100 times more
    x-ray emitting black holes than Swift or
  • It will detect several times more gamma-ray
    bursts than seen by Swift.
  • No other proposed U.S. or international missions
    will have comparable capabilities.
  • Vs. Ground
  • Because of the opaqueness of the atmosphere, no
    ground-based instrument can perform hard x-ray

Black Hole Finder Probe Technical Readiness
  • CASTER has more technology maturity challenges as
    the detector technology in general is at lower
    TRLs than EXIST, as discussed in Section III.
  • The large area of solid-state detectors and the
    enormous number of electronic readout channels
    will be a major implementation challenge for
  • The overall mission costs for both the BHFP
    mission concepts are higher than originally
    envisioned at inception.
  • They are quite massive spacecraft that require
    expensive launch vehicles in the Atlas V class.
  • The tradeoff of sensitivity, detector area and
    observing time should be carefully considered and
    a smaller telescope should be studied

Black Hole Finder Probe Moving Forward
  • Both candidates have experienced instrument
    development teams, and good risk mitigation
    plans however, more detailed design studies are
    needed to enable quantitative studies of how to
    reduce cost by reducing scope
  • Continued funding from the Astrophysics Research
    Grants Program for detector development is
    consistent with the timescale for this mission,
    and the technology is sufficiently mature to
    allow an early selection of a single technology
    for a hard x-ray survey telescope

Constellation-X Revolutionary Discovery Potential
  • Beyond Einstein
  • Measure growth of structure and distance-redshift
    relation using clusters revolutionary if w ? -1
  • Test General Relativity in strong fields by
    measuring motions in accretion disks around black
  • Broader Science
  • Discovery of exotic phases of matter in neutron
    stars e.g., quark-gluon plasma
  • Potential discovery of small-separation orbiting
    supermassive black holes
  • Test of quantum electrodynamics in strong
    magnetic fields with magnetars

Constellation-X Science Risk
  • Beyond Einstein
  • Unclear whether definitive measurement of
    cosmological parameters is possible using
    clusters due to complex gas physics
  • Interpretation of data on accretion disk motion
    may be difficult
  • Broader Science
  • Complex physics may make interpretation of data

Constellation-X Uniqueness in Addressing BE
  • Vs. Space
  • Detecting the bulk of baryons in the warm-hot
    intergalactic medium
  • Vs. Ground
  • X-ray astronomy can only be done from space

Constellation-X Technical Readiness
  • Con-X is one of the best studied and tested of
    the missions presented to the panel.
  • Attributed to the heritage of the program
    management, flight technology, strong community
    support, and significant resources for technology
    and mission development.
  • Risk in achieving the needed mirror angular
    resolution and the development of the
    position-sensitive micro-calorimeters.
  • The Con-X Project has reasonable plans to mature
    both of these technologies and, given adequate
    resources and time there is little reason to
    expect that they will limit the main science
    goals of the observatory.
  • Technological requirements to achieve the mission
    goal appear to have been purposely kept
    conservative. The positive side is that the path
    to achieving the requirements (such as an angular
    resolution of 15 arc-seconds) is well defined.

Constellation-X Moving Forward
  • Con-X development activities need to continue
    aggressively in areas such as achieving the
    mirror angular resolution, cooling technology and
    x-ray micro-calorimeter arrays
  • Funding for these activities should not be from
    the current Beyond Einstein NASA budget wedge.
    Beyond Einstein is not the sole justification
    for Con-X as its primary science capabilities
    support a much broader research program.

Inflation Probe
Inflation Probe Revolutionary Discovery Potential
  • Beyond Einstein
  • Knowing the energy scale is crucial for
    understanding inflation (CMBPol, EPIC-F, EPIC-I)
  • Improved measurement of spectral index and
    running constrains the shape of the inflationary
    potential (CIP)
  • Broader Science
  • IS dust and galactic magnetic field properties
    interesting to a small community (CMBPol, EPIC-F,
  • Large IR spectroscopic survey will find many
    unusual and interesting objects which will be
    good targets for JWST (CIP)

Inflation Probe Science Risk
  • Beyond Einstein
  • The energy scale of inflation could be outside
    the 3x range. Between current limit and the
    foreground subtraction limit. (CMBPol, EPIC-F,
  • Foreground subtraction could be too difficult.
    (CMBPol, EPIC-F, EPIC-I)
  • Improved understanding of non-linearities in P(k)
    and/or the Lyman alpha forest could reduce the
    value of the result. (CIP)

Inflation Probe Science Risk cont.
  • Broader Science
  • Low risk, since foreground signal will be strong.
    (CMBPol, EPIC-F, EPIC-I)
  • Low risk, since such a large spectroscopic survey
    will certainly find many fascinating sources such
    as high z quasars. (CIP)

Inflation Probe Uniqueness in Addressing BE
  • Vs. Space
  • The Big Bang Observer (follow-on to LISA) could
    measure the gravitational waves from inflation.
    (CMBPol, EPIC-F, EPIC-I)
  • Other large scale spectroscopic surveys such as
    ADEPT could duplicate some CIP science. (CIP)
  • Planck will also improve our knowledge of the
    spectral index, but in a different part of the
    spectrum (CIP)
  • Vs. Ground
  • Ground-based experiments are unlikely to measure
    the large angular scale B-modes from inflation.
    (CMBPol, EPIC-F, EPIC-I)
  • SKA, MWA and LOFAR could measure P(k) at high z
    using high redshift 21 cm spectra. (CIP)
  • Ground-based spectroscopic surveys will improve
    on the SDSS measurement of P(k). (CIP)

Inflation Probe Technical Readiness
  • CIP and EPIC-F provided the committee with more
    mature program plans, management approaches and
    technology risk mitigation plans.
  • EPIC-I and CMBPol are not as far along in their
    technology and programmatic developments, thus
    the committee was not able to adequately assess
    these areas.
  • EPIC-F, EPIC-I, and CMBPol all require extremely
    sensitive millimeter wave continuum detectors,
    and extremely effective rejection of the common
    mode noise from the anisotropy signal.
  • The state of CIP technology is more advanced than
    the polarization missions.

Inflation Probe Moving Forward
  • A successful Planck mission will go a large part
    of the way, but not the entire way, toward
    proving the readiness of the detector technology.
    Significant continued support of detector and
    ultra-cool cryo-coolers (sub 100 mK) is needed to
    push these missions along. (CMBPol, EPIC-F,
  • Investigations of different approaches for
    modulating the polarization signal may best be
    done with ground-based and balloon-borne
    demonstrations. (CMBPol, EPIC-F, EPIC-I)
  • CIP would benefit from intensive theoretical
    investigations as well as grating technologies.
  • NASAs Astrophysics Research and Analysis Program
    is already in place to fund these types of

Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM)
Joint Dark Energy Mission Revolutionary
Discovery Potential
  • Beyond Einstein
  • A measurement that discovers that the expansion
    history of the universe is not consistent with a
    cosmological constant will have a fundamental and
    revolutionary impact on physics and astronomy.
  • Broader Science
  • Wide field optical and NIR surveys will offer
    tremendous discovery potential. A spectroscopic
    survey would open the emission-line universe, and
    an imaging survey would produce the richest
    dataset ever for studies of galaxy evolution.

Joint Dark Energy Mission Science Risk
  • Beyond Einstein
  • Systematic uncertainties may limit JDEM to modest
    improvements over ground-based studies.
  • Broader Science
  • Because of the exquisite datasets that JDEM
    surveys will produce, there is little risk to the
    broader science impact.

Joint Dark Energy Mission Uniqueness in
Addressing BE Science
  • Vs. Space
  • A comparable European space mission concept is
    under discussion but is not yet approved.
  • Vs. Ground
  • JDEM affords better control of systematic
    uncertainties than ground-based experiments for
    supernova and weak-lensing studies and better
    statistics for baryon acoustic oscillations.

Joint Dark Energy Mission Technical Readiness
  • Destiny and SNAP are relatively mature and most
    of the critical technology is at levels 5-6 or
  • The SNAP CCDs are the exception which are at
    level 4-5 but have a good plan to bring them to
    flight readiness.
  • ADEPT did not provide the committee with adequate
    data to evaluate readiness, but in general their
    critical technology has flight heritage and no
    major challenges.

Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA)
LISA Revolutionary Discovery Potential
  • Beyond Einstein
  • Detection of gravitational waves
  • Open a unique new window on the universe
  • Test general relativity in the most extreme
  • Study the formation and evolution of massive
    black holes
  • Measure absolute distances on cosmological scales
  • Broader Science
  • Detection of waves from exotic or unexpected
    sources, such as cosmic strings or early universe
    phase transitions.

LISA Science Risk
  • Beyond Einstein
  • The main risk is the uncertainty in rates of
    mergers involving massive black holes.
  • However, understanding of the underlying theory
    and data analysis is robust.
  • Broader Science
  • Low risk detection of many Galactic binaries is

LISA Uniqueness in Addressing BE Science
  • Vs. Space
  • No similar or competing missions are envisioned
  • Vs. Ground
  • No similar or competing missions are envisioned

LISA Technical Readiness
  • Considerable technology development since
    entering Phase A development in 2004
  • A number of critical technologies and performance
    requirements must be developed and verified
    before LISA is ready to move into the
    implementation phase
  • Success of the Pathfinder is a prerequisite for
    LISA to proceed with implementation.

LISA Moving Forward
  • Not all of the critical LISA technologies and
    performance will be tested on the Pathfinder.
  • The next highest priority for allocation of the
    current Beyond Einstein NASA budget wedge after
    the JDEM start is funding to accelerate the
    maturation of the technical readiness of these
    remaining LISA technologies.
  • Areas that are candidates for this funding and
    shown at TRL levels of 4 or less include
  • micro-Newton thruster technology development and
    lifetime tests.
  • Point-Ahead Actuator.
  • Phase Measurement System.
  • Laser Frequency Noise Suppression.